"I was lifting fast and had my thumb wrapped around the bar and it slipped off," Kailo Moore recalled when asked about the weight lifting incident. "All of the weight came down on my chest and bruised a bone pretty good. It happened on Wednesday and we had our game against East Webster on Friday. I just was not ready to go. We won anyway 55-0. I will be back against Bruce (Friday) night."
The 11-1 West Bolivar squad knows it has its hands full in the second round of the playoffs.
"It is going to be a pretty tough game. They have only lost two games and one was by a point to Water Valley and then they lost a tough one to Calhoun City. If we can beat Bruce Friday we will play the Ackerman-Shelby winner. We will probably face Calhoun City for the North Half finals if they win out. Calhoun City beat us last year in the North Half finals, so it's going to be a huge challenge if we get to face them again. But first things first, we have to get by Bruce. They have a great defense and offense. We will have our hands full. They like to stack the box and make you pass the ball so we have to be able to run on them. We want to force our will on them, and they will try to force their will on us."
Moore has missed a couple of games this fall due to various injuries and has accumulated 1,256 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. Moore's sophomore season he was more productive on the field as he rushed for 2,300 yards and 32 touchdowns. Why the drop in production?
"We just had a tougher schedule this year. We played 6A Clarksdale, 4A Cleveland, 4A Cleveland Eastside, Ray Brooks which is always tough, and Aberdeen was a killer game. Another thing is that outside of the Eastside and Aberdeen games, I have not played much in the second half because we have been up by a lot of points. So they put in the younger guys."
The nation's fastest 16-17 year old feels like improvements in his personal goal have been made this season.
"I feel like I'm setting up my blocks better and being more patient. I have gotten quicker too and coach is throwing some balls my way. I like to run between the tackles. Everybody thought I would like to run sweeps, but I dedicated myself to work out hard in the gym after my freshman season so I could run between the tackles. I am really a one-cut back. I like to go between the tackles and then make my move when I get past the defensive line."
Moore was raised in an Ole Miss household as his grandfather was a star tailback for the Rebels. He committed to the Rebels this past summer, but the staff he committed to was let go on Monday. What was his reaction?
"I was real surprised they let Coach (Houston) Nutt go, but I understood how the school feels. I know they want to win, and I understand that, but I think Coach Nutt has a lot of young players that needed to get some reps before they started winning. They just needed to get use to the SEC, but I just have to go with it."
Has Kailo spoken to anyone at Ole Miss about the situation?
"No, I have not called them yet. I really do not know what to say but I have been thinking about it. I am just going to work hard and try and win state and then after the season is over I will see who all is coming after me and keep my options open now. I want to see how these colleges coach and see which one looks the best."
Does this mean that Moore is opening up his recruitment and is decommitting from the Rebels?
"No, I am still committed. I just want to keep my options open until I see who they hire. I am hoping they bring in a head coach that likes to run the ball. If they do not then I will find a school that best fits me. I just hope that Ole Miss hires someone like Coach (Nick) Saban that really likes to pound the rock because that's where I have had my heart set on for a while. I want to carry on the family tradition.”
Rebel assistant coach Derrick Nix recruited Moore for Ole Miss, and he hopes whoever is named the new head coach will retain the former USM star tailback.
"I feel like they should keep Coach Nix. He's had my back from the start. He was the first coach to start rerouting me in 8th grade. He offered me first. Coach Nix reminds me a lot of my high school coach. I just hope they keep him on their new staff. That would be big for me if they do because I know Coach Nix has my best interest at heart."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org